EV market charging despite recalls

Three manufacturers have had to recall electric cars in the last few weeks, with Volkswagen, Nissan and Renault all admitting problems with their models.

VW has just recalled 5,561 e-Golf cars in the US following complaints of the vehicle stalling unexpectedly.

The manufacturer said that the car’s management system could ‘inadvertently classify a brief internal electrical current surge/peak as a critical battery condition’, causing the battery to shut down. VW says a software update will resolve the problem.

This recall follows brake issues for both the Nissan Leaf (47,538 recalls) and Renault Zoe (10,649 recalls).

However, one industry expert says issues like these should be expected with new technology, and reports suggest the uptake of electric cars will only increase.

Speaking to the BBC, Jay Nagley , managing director of the Redspy auto consultancy, said, ‘Yes there are teething troubles, but the great thing about electric cars is they don’t catch fire – they are the only product I know of, fitted with lithium-ion batteries, for which that is the case.’

Meanwhile, a report by the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016 found that the falling price of EV batteries will have a big impact on the market. It found that in 2010 the global average for EV batteries was $1,000 per kWh, but that had fallen to just $350 last year. It put the tipping point, the point when EVs can become mainstream, as $150 per kWh.

However, the reduced battery costs are already telling, with 462,000 EV sales reported around the world in 2015, a 59% increase on 2014.

At this rate, a report by Argonne National Laboratory predicted that 58% of the light vehicle market will be EVs by 2030, with less than 25% non-hybrid gas cars.